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St Patrick's Day revellers celebrate in sunshine

Published 17/03/2016

Performers parade down O'Connell Street on St Patrick's Day in Dublin (AP)
Performers parade down O'Connell Street on St Patrick's Day in Dublin (AP)
Joanne ORiordan, 19, Ireland's most high-profile campaigner for disabled rights and this year's grand marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade greets spectators on O'Connell Street, Dublin
Participants take part in the St Patrick's Day parade on the streets of Dublin.

Hundreds of thousands of people have flocked to cities, towns and villages throughout Ireland to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

With fine weather across the country, many colourful parades basked in the spring sunshine, adding to the festive atmosphere on the national day of celebration.

More than half a million revellers turned central Dublin into a sea of green for the largest parade.

Thousands of performers and outsized puppets, including elephants and rabbits, snaked their way along the 2.5km route from Parnell Square across the Liffey to St Patrick's Cathedral over several hours in the afternoon.

Disability rights campaigner Joanne O'Riordan, 19, led the parade - the youngest ever Grand Marshal.

Berkeley police and fire departments, who travelled from California in the US to honour the victims and survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse, were cheered along the route.

The second largest gathering was in Limerick.

More than 80,000 onlookers packed the city's streets to watch Grand Marshal and local actor Myles Breen lead the parade from Pery Square.

The Fanzini Brothers and Jedward made guest appearances among the throng of performers.

In Belfast, thousands turned out to see Lord Mayor Arder Carson lead a colourful Rainbow-themed carnival from City Hall to Custom House Square.

PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016
Thousands enjoy the open air concert at Custom House Square.
St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 Thousands enjoy the open air concert at Custom House Square. St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 Brian McFadden entertains the Thousands in the open air concert at Custom House Square. St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 Thousands enjoy the open air concert at Custom House Square. St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place.
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Charlie Bradley (9), Courtney Dempsey (8), Nellie-Rose Bradley (4), Stephen Dempsey (9) and Ruairi Bradley (7).
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Nuala and Brendan Loughran with Reilly.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Cloughfin Pipe Band.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Cloughfin Pipe Band.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Cora (4) and Ruby (2) Harmon.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Little Connloadh Mahoney (2).
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Claire Kearns wishing everyone a very Happy St Patrick's Day.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Emma (8) and Katie (9) McDonnell.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Lord Mayor Arder Carson.
Mandatory Credit - Picture by Freddie Parkinson/Press Eye © Thursday 17th March 2016 St Patrick's Day celebrations take place across Northern Ireland. Thousands of people are attending St Patrick's Day parades and festivities in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. The Belfast parade departed from city hall at noon and is making its way to Custom House Square for a free concert. Cloughfin Pipe Band.
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker press 17/03/2016 The Annual St Patricks day parade makes it's way through Belfast City centre on route to Custom house square. St Patricks day or "The feast of St Patrick" is held on the 17th of March which is thought to be the date St Patrick died. It is a celebration of christianity in Ireland. Picture Mark Marlow/pacemaker press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 17/3/2016 St Patrick's day celebrations in Belfast city centre this afternoon. Thousands lined the route from Belfast City Hall to Custom House Square where an open air concert will take place. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Community groups from across the cultural spectrum took part, while former X Factor winner Ben Haenow and ex-Westlife member Brian McFadden headlined a free concert at Custom House Square.

A 50,000-strong crowd cheered on Cork's main spectacle.

Instead of a Grand Marshal, the city's parade was led by actors playing the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence.

Another 30,000 people made their way into Galway city centre, where the theme of the day was 1916 and the city's bid for the 2020 European Capital of Culture.

While parades and celebrations took place around the world, even some in space were celebrating Ireland's national holiday.

British astronaut Tim Peake tweeted a picture of Ireland from the International Space Station, where he is working for six months.

"The Emerald Isle looking lush and green from space...Happy #StPatricksDay to all down there!" he said.

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